April 27, 2008

Pesach review

We had two great seders while visiting my family back east. The first seder was hosted by good friends of my sister. It was sort of "little seder in the big woods" because their home is surrounded by a green belt on three sides. 18 people, from teens to seniors, crowded around their dining room table for a lively, song-filled evening. It was very good of them to include Rik and I at the last minute, and we participated wholeheartedly. The host was Dutch from Curacao and we learned some new traditions from him, as well as enjoyed tasty charoses made from his family's recipe (with coconut!)

In between the two seders my sister and I made the chopped liver. She broiled the chicken livers, sauteed the onions in shmaltz (rendered chicken fat), and hard-boiled the eggs. We tried to put together the ancient hand grinder my parents have used for the past 50 years, finally getting the blades inserted correctly. We took turns grinding the liver and it was just like being kids again.

Dad used to tell us that it was FUN to make chopped liver and that only well-behaved girls got to turn the grinder handle. We fought over who would go first. My arm always tired out quickly because it's a right-handed machine and hence tough for a lefty to use.

For the second seder we were able to use a transport service to bring my dad in the wheelchair from the nursing home to my sister and brother-in-law's house. My sister outdid herself preparing a yummy meal. We began our seder at noon to take advantage of the time of day when my dad is at his most alert. My brother-in-law conducted us through "seder: the good parts" which included lots of singing and fun, and we had a great lunch together.

We took a family portrait together and for that reason alone, much less the chance to be together for a holiday, I am so glad Rik and I went back east to celebrate Passover with my family!

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